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Big Issues in Supporting Demonstrators & Tutors Dr Darren Comber Senior Educational Development Adviser

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1 Big Issues in Supporting Demonstrators & Tutors Dr Darren Comber Senior Educational Development Adviser

2 Structure 1.What are the ‘Big Issues’? 2.Institutional perspective on these issues: University of Aberdeen 3.Case study of effective practice: School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen 4.Institutional comparison: Universities Scotland 5.UK-wide perspectives 6.‘Big Issues’: discussion

3 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2008) Principle 4 12. Employers will ensure that where researchers are provided with teaching and demonstrating opportunities as part of their career development, suitable training and support is provided.

4 2. Institutional perspective PGR “training” (first year, “licence”) Demonstrators (wet side, dry side, computer labs, other dry labs, fieldwork) Tutors (Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) Small groups (tutorials, seminars) Colleges, Schools, Disciplines Second year? Beyond? Postdocs? Undergraduates?

5 PGR Tutors & Demonstrators: Year 1 development College of Physical Sciences (College-wide, half day): tutoring, lab. and field demonstrating College of Life Sciences & Medicine (dry side, wet side): tutoring, lab. demonstrating, marking lab. books College of Arts & Social Sciences (School by School: Law, DHP, Soc. Sci., L&L, Business): small group teaching, critical thinking, marking & feedback ISSUE: what expertise is required to run these sessions? DPMC: Physical Geographer in a former life JP: Microbiologist in a former life MP: Art Historian (0.5fte), Student Learning Service (0.5fte)

6 PGR Tutors & Demonstrators: Years 2+ development Lunchtime programme (voluntary) 2002-2010 PGRs and Postdocs (2002) Six lunchtimes +ve feedback Demand / certification Roberts (early) Principles of Learning & Teaching in H.E. 12 hours over four weeks Structured Practical Formative assessments Peer observation UKPSF D1 “Excellent. Departments should make attendance compulsory for PG researchers who are tutors.” Short, taught voluntary programme, HEA accredited (2010 onwards) 163 AFHEA

7 Then what? Final year PGRs have other things to think about Institutional CPD Frameworks can help D2 as aspirational? Vitae RDF -teaching ‘lens’ -link with UKPSF? PG Certificate programmes? For staff (primarily lecturing staff) UKPSF D2 PGRs not eligible? Conceptual gap Time

8 3. Case study: Geosciences Part-time teaching in the School of Geosciences has been classified as follows: Lecturing: (a) specialist, stand along lectures and (b) lecturing within the structure of a pre-existing course. Will normally equate to Grade 7, minimum appointment is at spinal point 37 (£18.51/hr) Tutoring: leading tutorial or workshop groups. Equates to Grade 5, minimum appointment is at spinal point 24 (£12.63/hr) Demonstrating: assistance in, for example, laboratory classes. Equates to Grade 4, minimum appointment is at spinal point 17 (£11.27/hr) Honorariums will be paid for any PGR who assists on a fieldtrip. In addition to receiving free travel, board and lodgings, an honorarium of £30 per full day in the field will be paid. Preparation time: TUTORS & DEMONSTRATORS: ½ hour per hour of classroom time (not for repeated classes) Preparation time: LECTURES: 1 hour per 1 hour of lecture time (own research), 2 hours per 1 hour of lecture time (as part of a pre-existing course )

9 4. We aren’t unique... We aren’t starting from zero with this Universities Scotland / SHED Common interest – but common provision? What differences exist and why? What could we learn from each other? Darren Comber, University of Aberdeen Mary McCulloch, University of Glasgow Ginny Saich, University of Stirling Stuart Boon, Strathclyde University Sue Mathieson, Heriot-Watt University Charles Juwah, Robert Gordon University Susan Reid, University of Dundee Louisa Sheward, University of the West of Scotland

10 What is common to our programmes? Student learning Teaching methods Design & planning Assessment and feedback (not marking) Evaluation of teaching Peer observation Practical > theoretical (but scholarly)

11 What is different about our programmes? Length Workload / assessment diet Degree of support from depts. / schools Internally validated Externally accredited Process not content

12 What did we learn from each other? Topics largely common Approaches differ – institutional need / individual expertise and interests Mixing disciplines up is good AT THIS LEVEL Marking practices devolve to dept. / school (generally) Linking forwards – CPD frameworks, PG Cert / PG CAP, PDP

13 5. More ‘Big Issues’: Postgraduates who Teach (NUS, 2012) Formal development opportunities (22% received none before starting teaching) Payment: x = £19.95 / hour Hours worked (arts 10.7 hours / week, sciences 7.3 hours / week)

14 A ‘Big Issue’? NUS / UCU Postgraduate Employment Charter 1.Fair and equal appointments: including contract, provision for sickness and holidays 2.Fair rate of pay for hours worked 3.Supervision & mentoring 4.Formal and informal feedback on performance 5.Induction and initial training 6. Support for appropriate CPD 7. Representation by a trade union 8. Integration into the professional academic culture 9. Access to facilities & resources 10. Reasonable balance between employment and research

15 In summary: development lens New through the door: raw survival / keep you sane / out of court / build confidence One year in: a basis upon which to reflect Further CPD: UKPSF D2 as aspirational target? Tie in with RDF? Work with variation: Experience / attitude > role

16 “Big Issues” that these things bring up Allocation of duties: selection ‘process’ of T&Ds Prior teaching experience of T&Ds Payment: contact, prep. / briefings (including associated lectures), marking Time: Six hours per week – realistic? Recognition: internal (credit), external (HEA) Feedback on T&Ds specifically: are they effective? How do they know? Status: recognition as staff is inconsistent (see above) Who supports T&Ds? Centre? Colleges? Schools? No-one? How much / exactly what development is seen as appropriate? How is the development for T&Ds resourced? What staff skills are necessary? Are we providing professional development just to equip them to leave the University?

17 ‘Big Issues’: discussion

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